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J de Juegos > English Articles Opinion x Webmaster
[ 26/September/2010 ]
StarCraft Hardcover Comic Book Collection

Under the rather generic title of StarCraft in a hardcover edition we find a collection of comic books that put together the adventures of a rogue team of desperados known as the War Pigs. Apparently the set was comprised of eleven issues but was cut short to seven; after reading the collected edition I can understand why.

I honestly can't see why, so far, comics based on videogames can't offer an engaging experience. There are more than a dozen of good --and great-- writers and artists out there that have been able to give the proper life to so many and so diverse characters and imaginary worlds and universes. Why not for videogames? If telling the story of in-game characters and adventures is complicated because of the game being out there, why not focus on other stuff, other parts of the huge universe, or universes, they represent?

StarCraft HC starts a little off-target and as it evolves it becomes clear that the "you got only seven issues" message arrived quite early on the development. There is a feeling that things got 'cut short' from early on and that the focus of writer and artists had to change; unless, things are even worse and they simply attempted to put together the already finished pieces --of the eleven issues-- that made the most and best sense.

The problem with this comic is that it goes a little too much into the cliché area. All of the desperados that conform the War Pigs somewhat belong to extremely predefined character sets that can be seen in pretty much too many mediocre novels and comics. Worse still, they each act their part in such a way. They all qualify more as anti-heroes than heroes; we get to know more about why they should deserve a second chance, a shot at redemption, instead of feeling that way on our own as we read about their deeds.

Cole Hickson the friend, the foe, the traitor, the mistery man. Nuura Joss the pilot, the warrior, with a past that she hasn't fully left behind. Turfa Dei the former rebel who can't believe on anyone or anything anymore. Vin Iggins the not so innocent bystander that can't find redemption for his own sins. Romy Pyrius the shadowy character who does anything to survive.

Another setback in the overall story is that the author tries to cover too much ground or attempt to force a personal idea onto the lore of Blizzard's game. At the end it feels like a tale that would have held as bad, or as good, by itself or in any other context. Trying to include known characters all over it only adds to the slightly forced nature of the narrative.

It all starts with the War Pigs put on the path of none other than Arcturus Mensk, later on they have to face unknown Ghost soldiers (which, by he way, look a little too mecha and robotic rather than a spec-op troop in a special outfit), enemy troops with a thirst for revenge (and no one knows, or even remembers, why), the Zergs, the Protoss and, inevitably, they end up meeting ex-Marshall Jim Raynor.

The story arc is also quite cliché, how the War Pigs are formed, split and then reunited tells nothing of the team members and makes none of them incredible interesting or particularly un-expendable. The visual part of the comic book isn't helpful either.

Visually I have to say that I've seen better. There are times that here is a lot of high-level detail on the scene but mostly things look a little sketchy and simplistic, and the different characters never seem to offer a proper permanent set of physical features. Sometimes they look fat, others chubby, others thin, others like a weight lifter, others like someone on a hunger-strike. At least Nuura looks consistently sexy in most of her appearances.

This body shifting doesn't even seem to have anything to do with timeline or flashback scenes, there are times that even their faces don't look alike from one page to the next, or one issue to the next. At least the alien races look recognizable enough.

As a StarCraft based graphic novel this collection adds absolutely nothing either to the lore or the timeline we know of by the games and the other novels (although they seem to become a part of the timeline that follows the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty). It does add the presence of the War Pigs into the SC Universe but that has no further consequence at the time of print.

As a graphic novel it can't seriously stand by its own, the story, the characters and its development tell nothing, not from a narrative perspective nor from a visual one. It could have had something if everything didn't read and feel so cliché.

Other than out of curiosity or because one is a serious SC fan and memorabilia addict I see no way to recommend this graphic novel. There is nothing worth having in it, not even its graphics which aren't anything special or out of the ordinary. If anything it is a mediocre work, sorry to say so because I imagine there was a lot of effort put into it. At least I am not the only one who thinks this way since even its own producer shrank the series from eleven to seven issues. At the end, StarCraft HC the comic book collection is just merchandise.

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